Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's a big deal

It's a bigger deal than I thought. In May I was going to get nipples constructed and have my port removed during same visit as the hysterectomy. But the plan changed when the lymphedema swelling resulted in one breast being larger than the other so instead it became implant swap out, minor revisions for symmetry, and hysterectomy/oopherectomy and keep the port til the next surgery so I could use it for another zometa infusion.I was relieved even though the port gets in the way sometimes when trying to cuddle with Cooper and he presses on it or puts his head on it and that hurts or when the line up into my neck gets irritating and causes swelling which looks and feels like a swollen neck node on that side, causing me to panic even though Dr.B says it's ok.

This thing has been an incredible blessing - helping me painlessly (mostly) endure countless blood draws and 12 chemo infusions and 2 zometa infusions, and even used it in my two recent surgeries to get me asleep without discomfort. It has spared my arm veins from being mangled at a time when they would be vulnerable (chemo) and helped me protect my arms especially the left one with lymphedema since it can be poked (too risky for infection and swelling danger).

I've had two clean PET scans since finishing chemo - Feb.1st and Sept.7th so now it is time to say goodbye to my port. Praise God, I don't need it anymore! Every time I say, think or type that I begin to cry. Joyful tears. Maybe some nervous tears mixed in too.

Tomorrow morning I go back in for nipple construction surgery and the port will come out and the scar revised to clean it up (it's ugly/angry looking). As I was getting ready for bed tonight it finally hit me. I'm done (with cancer). Treatment is done (minus the zometa bone protection I will get quarterly for 2.5 more years, the quarterly blood draws and follow ups and of course the nipple tattoos as the final step in reconstruction).
I really am a survivor! From stage 3c to "cancer-free" in 15 months. Wow. Praise God!

I am living proof of the Lord's power and miracles. He woke me up and set me straight and I am listening (and learning). He showed me His work in my life daily through this journey (and ongoing) - with the most amazing support network (you included), the most loving and supportive husband so certain of my complete cure and healing, brilliant and compassionate physicians, nurses, administrators (except for a couple - remember my first attempt to get a port!?), a generous and caring mother and father who came to help whenever I incredibly supportive employer and team at work who patiently and generously gave me the time I needed to get well without the fear of losing my job or health coverage. The exact right caregivers at the exact right time for my precious Cooper. A bearable (albeit challenging) course of treatment with limited and tolerable side effects. My many friends, family and colleagues who wrote, called and sent generous thoughtful gifts to cheer me up and donations to fund breast cancer research in honor of me! Awesome neighborhood friends who checked in on me, brought meals, helped with Cooper and the dog, and kept me company when being alone was unbearable while Bob was working. God led me to my new church home and family a year ago where my faith in God and mankind has been restored and raised to levels I didn't know were possible. And, of course, He brought me to the bravest, most beautiful warrior sister survivors with whom I share an unbreakable bond for life.

These are the works of an almighty, merciful, forgiving and instructional God who has transformed me and I believe is using me and I am so amazed, so blessed, so grateful. Thank you, Father, for these blessed gifts. I am humbled, grateful and determined to become worthy of them. Please continue to use me, Father, to spread the good news and glorify you in my thoughts and actions. Guide me, Lord, and help me to not stray. Forgive me, Lord, when I do stumble as I often do. Take my worries and fears, Lord, and help me live beyond my own abilities and fulfill your will for my life. Thank you, Father, for your healing and your mercy for me and so many others.

Lord, please wrap my friends Michelle, Theresa, Tracie, Tonya, and Sue in your love and light. Infuse their bodies with healthy fighter cells and medical ammunition to destroy and eliminate the cancer that has taken residence in them. Give them continued strength, hope and faith in your promise and word and bring about complete cure and healing as I know you have big plans for these warriors here on earth.

God, please hurry and show us the cure for all cancers.

This, I pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.



  1. Julie you are amazing!! Thinking and praying for you today my warrior sister, and sister in Christ! You have an incredible way to make people smile!!


  2. Jules, may the lord bless you and keep you today and always. Randi and I were just talking about what a difference a year can make and it surely has with you. I love you always!!!

  3. Congratulations on the clean PET scans! God is indeed good, and using what to the world is a bad thing (cancer) for good (our sanctification). I look forward to being where you are in the journey.

  4. That was a beautiful prayer. Thanks for sharing.

    And, thanks for sharing your life with us! I got to "know" you just before this occurred--and that timing seems to be part of this giant plan of life. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

    Also, when you get the chance, check out this website about Dr. Nemeh. I live in Rocky River, by the way, if this is ever something you'd be interested in. The girl I know with stage 4 went to see him and can't even speak about it because it was such an awesome experience. He just had a book written about his miracles as well.

    Take care and love and hugs to you and cooper!

  5. I am so in awe of how you have turned what satan had planned to rob, kill and destroy, into something that God can use for the good, in encouraging others in their own cancer 'journey' (like me! Love this blog!)

  6. Tonya - my new warrior sister and sister in Christ! I forgot to add you to my prayer - I'm so sorry! I just added you right now. You ARE in my nightly prayers! xoxo